The CNMI’s Beouch Ngirchongor left Saipan for China yesterday to participate in the 15th IAAF World Championships.
Ngirchongor will race in the 200m run of the biennial tournament, which will be held from Aug. 22 to 30 at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. He will be in one of the qualifying heats for the 200m event that will take place on Aug. 25, beginning at 7:30pm (9:30pm Saipan time).
“I am all set and ready for this competition,” said Ngirchongor in a message to Saipan Tribune last week.
The 21-year-old runner holds a personal best time of 24.19 seconds in the 200m run, setting the mark in a competition in Australia in 2012.
“I am hoping to lower it down to 23 seconds something,” said Ngirchongor, who is on his first World Championships appearance, following the footsteps of his brother Shane Ogumuro.
Incidentally, the elder Ogumuro was the last CNMI runner to compete in the 200m event in the World Championships. Shane Ogumuro clocked in at 23.77 seconds in the 2003 tournament in Paris, France. The rest of the CNMI bets to the world championships after Ogumuro’s run in the ninth edition of the competition joined the 100m event.
Darrel Roligat was in one of the 100m qualifying races in Helsinki, Finland in 2005, while Tyrone Omar (2007, Osaka, Japan), Clayton Kenty (2009, Berlin, Germany), Orrin Pharmin (2011, Daegu, Korea), and Jesus Iguel (2013, Moscow, Russia) had the same event. In the women’s division, Yvonne Bennett owned the most World Championships participations among CNMI athletes, having represented the Commonwealth in the biennial event (100m run) in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Meanwhile, the World Championships will be Ngirchongor’s second tournament in less than two months.
The Marianas High School graduate also joined the 200m race in the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea last month, making it to the semifinals of the event after placing third in his qualifying heat. He timed in at 24.29 seconds in the qualifier to advance to the next round before missing the finals after submitting 24.43 seconds in the semifinals.
Ngirchongor’s other event in PNG was the 400m hurdles where he clocked in at 54.57 seconds and faltered on his bid to march into the next round.